Submitted by: Vivian Orr, Communications & Publications Coordinator
How to Show & Sell Your Crafts: How to build your craft business at home, online, and in the marketplace
By Torie Jayne, Copyright 2014
Less of an in-depth “How to” and more of an overview in a quick, easy to digest format (144 pages) with lovely photos and inspiring short artist profiles (14 artists). Some of the profiled artists are: Emma Lamb, a textile artist, blogger and online shop owner, Scotland; Helena Schaede Söderberg, blogger and online shop owner, Sweden; Tamar Schechner, jeweler, Etsy shop owner, USA; and Tabitha Emma Bray, fibre artist, graphic designer, Etsy shop owner, Australia.
The book starts off with Organizing a Crafting Workspace. My space will NEVER look as lovely, colour coordinated and organized as the ones featured in the book. I zoomed through this section. Sigh…
I found Chapter 2 on Branding more useful. Entire books on market research and business plans are available, but the overview they provided is very accessible. I appreciated the sections that encourage you to think about brand colours, choosing a name and designing an avatar.
Chapter 3: Selling Basics introduced me to DaWanda, a German based online marketplace, and Folksy, a UK handmade marketplace, as well as Etsy. Loved the section on how to Take Great Product Shots and Write Great Listings. It also covered the essentials such as Customer Service, How to Price Your Craft, Payment Processing, Shipping and Packaging.
Chapter 4: Selling in Person goes over craft show necessities: Setting up Your Stall; Selling Skills; Displaying Your Crafts and post event consideration. There are some good tips on What Not To Do when trying to establish a relationship with a store owner, such as having “flimsy prices. Make sure you know your wholesale pricing.”
Chapter 5: Marketing. They encourage cross promotion: social media, trade or industry events, print materials, etc. They dip into Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and blogging.
The back of the book has a list of Online Resources that is worth reading through. If you are an emerging artist or know one, this is a great book.
If you are new to social media or intimidated about photographing your work, take a peek at this book. Will this book guide you to a new career as a craft artist, not so much, but it might point out ways to improve your craft practice and put it on a more solid business footing.